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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 27, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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12/27/13 12/27/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i wish that peace prevails in iraq and i hope this christmas will be a time for peace for the muslims and christians alike. i wish for better situation for iraq. >> is a christmas day church bombing kills dozens of iraq is, we look at how 2013 has become the deadliest year in iraq for sibley and since the height of the iraq war under president bush.
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the u.s. is now rushing a new shipment of hellfire missiles and surveillance drones to the iraqi government. we will go to baghdad for report. as wall street prepares to pay out over $90 billion in year-end bonuses, an offshoot of occupy wall street urges the banks to reconsider how they spend their massive profits. $60 billion in pay for two years of the national affordable housing trust fund. this is the program that is financed for 10 years could end homelessness in american -- and america. next up, $21 billion in needed repairs to public housing and wall street to take care of that. and you know what? it would still have $10.4 billion left over. >> and while the philippines struggles to rebuild after typhoon haiyan, the country is been forced to continue paying out billions of dollars in debt to the world bank and other
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lenders. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a car bombing in the lebanese capital of beirut has left at least five people dead. the victims included the attacks apparent target, the homage financelebanon's former minister. he was an age of former prime iri and a vocal critic of seared president bashar al-assad. a u.s. drone strike in pakistan has killed four people. the attack it a compound in the tribal region of north waziristan. pakistani officials described the victims as afghan members of a militant group. the strike human midst of ongoing protest against u.s. drone war. on thursday, demonstrators recently blocked nato supply
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route near the city of quetta. fighting continues in south sudan amidst mediation efforts by african countries. the leaders of ethiopia and kenya are in the capital juba in a bid to infighting between government forces and rebels loyal to the countries ousted former president. the u.n. says the violence has claimed over 1000 lives and displaced tens of thousands. rebels have captured half the capital in south sudan's main oil-producing state, the upper nile. the head of the u.n. mission in south sudan said the country is facing its worst crisis since gaining independence from sudan two years ago. days have been1 a very trying time for south sudan and the citizens of this newborn nation. what has happened this last week, for many of them, has brought back the nightmares of the past.
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the nation painstakingly built over decades of conflict is at stake. >> dozens of people have been killed this week and continued fighting the central african republic it. muslim and christian militias have battled the other and attack civilian areas and fighting erupted earlier this month. the red cross says it has recovered 44 bodies in the streets of the capital over the past two days. a mass grave with 30 bodies was also reportedly found there a muslim rebel base. the military government in egypt has pressed ahead with its crackdown on the muslim brotherhood one day after declaring that group a terrorist organization. on thursday, dozens of brotherhood members were arrested and their assets seized. over a thousand groups also had their banks -- bank accounts frozen, including a network of hospitals. the terrorism designation marks an escalation of the campaign against the brotherhood since the ouster of president mohammed morsi in july. on thursday, one person was
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killed as brotherhood supporters clashed with rebels in cairo. the state department has expressed concern to the egyptian government over its latest moves. israeli forces have bombed the gaza strip for the second time in three days. the latest tracks came after firedinian militants rockets into southern israel, causing no damage. israel has also cut off its noncommercial crossing into gaza. palestinians say the plant will again be forced to shut down unless the crossing reopens today. intends to grapple with massive flooding in the southeast. the death toll from weeks of torrential rain stands at 44, with more than 60,000 (list. it is the worst rainstorm to hit brazil and 90 years. a u.s. citizen kidnapped by al qaeda in pakistan two years ago has appeared in a new video appeal to president obama. warren weinstein was working as a u.s. government contractor when he was seized. al qaeda has said it will free
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him if the united states stops airstrikes in afghanistan and pakistan, and freeze al qaeda prisoners, among other demands. on the tape, weinstein asks president obama to help when his release. >> it seems i have been totally .bandoned and forgotten now in your second term as president of the united states, and that means you can take hard decisions without worrying about reelection. so i again appeal to you to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release. >> weinstein goes on to say his captors have agreed to let his family members visit him if the u.s. allows the same courtesy to its al qaeda prisoners. a pair of u.n. experts has asked the u.s. and yemen to account for suspected drone strike that reportedly killed up to 15 people earlier this month.
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the victims were on their way to a wedding party when they were apparently mistaken for a knockout a convoy. in a statement, the u.n. special rapporteur on a traditional, summary or arbitrary executions, called on the u.s. and yemen to confirm their responsibility for the attack. specialdoes, the u.n. repertoire on torture, said bombing and a legitimate target such as a convoy of civilians would amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. a plan to relocate a u.s. military base on the island of okinawa as one local approval after a multiyear dispute. the okinawa governor has signed on to u.s. effort to move the base to a more remote area. a movement of residents has oppose the base altogether a push for ousting u.s. forces off the island am assigning environmental concerns in sexual assaults by u.s. soldiers on local residents. the u.s. maintains 34 bases and 18,000 troops on okinawa.
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more than 100 thousand people remained without power in maine on thursday after nice storm that swept up from the midwest. freezing temperatures over the past several days have killed 27 inple, 17 in the u.s. and 10 canada. president obama has signed into law the two major congressional measures of the past month, a pentagon spending bill and a new budget for 2014. the military bill bars the transfer of guantánamo bay prisoners to the u.s., but freeze up their release to foreign countries. in a signing statement, obama called the u.s. transfer been unwise and said he will continue to work for its removal. the measure also keeps military sexual assault cases within the chain of command while adding some new protections for survivors. ae budget bill averts government shutdown early next year, but ignores the extension of jobless benefits for the unemployment that expired this week. in appeals court has overturned
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the conviction of a top ranking clergymen of pennsylvania's roman catholic church for covering up sexual abuse by philadelphia priest. monsignor william lynn was found built to last year hiding the molestation by transferring predatory priest to unsuspecting congregations. he was the highest-ranking u.s. church official to be convicted of covering up child abuse to date. but on thursday, his conviction was overturned after a judge ruled he wasn't legally responsible for the victims welfare. lynn remains jailed pending an exit -- expected appeal by prosecutors, but his attorneys will now seek his release on bail. members of the greenpeace arctic already have begun leaving russia after charges were formally dropped earlier this week. the group of 28 activists and to journalists were jailed for two months for trying to stop russian oil drilling in the arctic. on his way home to sweden, itvinov vowedry l to remain involved in anti-
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drilling protest. >> i am glad this chapter is over, that the book still remains to be written. as long as there is threat for the arctic, as long as multinational companies like as prom and shall annex on and the puppet regimes are intent on ripping the arctic, we will certainly continue to fight and work toward a new feature. >> and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. as iraq faces the worst violence in years, the u.s. is reportedly sending arms to the country. "the new york times" reports the united states has rushed a new shipment of hellfire missiles to help the iraqi government fight militants. the cia is also helping iraqi forces target militant camps with aerial strikes. governmentaqi officials said about 75 care
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hellfire air to ground missiles had been said last week. an additional shipment of unmanned scaneagles surveillance drones is also expected next year. bombings mustday targeted christian areas. this is an iraqi christian. day wish on christmas happiness for christians in iraq and around the world, and i wish the iraqi people can overcome these difficult times. and i hope for the return of happiness and peace in the country. >> according to the united nations, more than 8000 iraqis have been killed this year in the worst violence since 2008. to talk more about the situation in iraq, we're joined by two guests. in washington, d.c., raed jarrar and in baghdad, william dunlop. we welcome you both to democracy now!
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let's go to william dunlop in baghdad. talk about the level of the violence, the numbers of people who are dead, and is it possible we are talking about the numbers debt equal to the height of the iraq war under president bush? year,r the course of this there's been a sharp increase in violence compared to the previous years where there was a steady decline in the number of people killed. this has in the case is specially since april after a security forces raid on a protest site in which dozens of people were killed. death toll spiked after that raid and has remained at a highly elevated level for the remainder of the year. the toll we're seeing this year around the levels of 2008, so not quite the worst year of the iraq war in 2006, 2007, at the height of the war. approaching that level, and approaching a level of violence that has not been seen since
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near the height of the americas monitor presence in iraq. iraqi security forces are effectively [indiscernible] heightened violence alone. >> william dunlop, what has been the impact on the ability of the government to function or provide asic services to its people? there are elections coming up in april. what will be the impact on that? >> in terms of basic services, they remain severely lacking in terms of clean water and electricity. that is throughout the country. violence is not the only issue that is impacting -- corruption and delays in building up the power grid are also affecting those services. as far as generally functioning, most of the government is headquartered in the green zone, which is a highly secure area in central baghdad. most high-ranking officials are effectively shielded from the
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impact of violence by working in this area. nonetheless, there is been severe lyrical deadlock plaguing the country, you could say, for several years now. major legislation has languished. not much has been done on the governmental level. there are parliamentary elections on april 30. depending on the result, that could result in some changes in the cabinet and potentially the prime minister as well. however, after the preceding elections in 2012, took almost 90 months for the election did -- for the government to form. >> christian communities celebrated as ms. nasa baghdad tuesday. the service was also attended by the leader of the it is long supreme council. council.lamic supreme >> they're targeting us as they're targeting you. there are those who believe in killing all those that will disagree with them. they think they should all feel
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the same way and feel with one logic. you are a target for them, therefore, we are partners in our share to gold in the challenge. we will remain partners in confronting extremism, violence, and terrorism. >> and you talk about the significance of who was coming together and also what is the cause of the violence, william dunlop? are two main there factors that contribute to the rising violence this year. internal, which is widespread discontent among groups.inority sunni being unjustly hard with heavy- such as massty arrest and close enough neighborhoods. that is creating a lot of anger
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among the community, sparked protest that have continued from us to year. ultimately, that level of anger is making it easy for militant groups to operate. it is easier to recruit for these groups and provide additional motivation for them to carry out attacks. there's also next terminal factor, which is the civil war in syria. establish0 groups in rubble-held areas. that conflict has resulted in guns and fighters moving back and forth across the borders in western iraq and also reestablishment of some al qaeda bases that have been abandoned. >> we're also joined by raed d.c., in from washington, an iraqi-american blogger and
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political analyst. could you tell us what your senses in this astonishing rise in violence in iraq? >> i don't think many iraqis are surprised because of the levels of violence are up again. existedons for violence all along and have not been addressed adequately by the current iraqi authorities. so people expect in iraq to see some periods of less violence and periods of more violence. violence is only one indicator of the failure of the iraqi government, as your previous guest said. there are many indicators which iraqis live on a daily basis, including complete collapse of the infrastructure to unprecedented levels of political and financial corruptions in the country.
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iraq is still among the top five most corrupt countries in the .orld the reasons of the violence that were installed in iraq after the was invasion of 2003, by creating a sectarian government, have not been addressed. i think as long as iraq continues to have this sectarian dysfunctional government, the country will continue to go through the cycles of violence. >> last month, the iraq he prime minister al-maliki asked the united states to provide more military aid, including weapons, to help combat iraq's worst violence in five years. he was speaking at the united states institute for peace. we do not tell the world to stand by us and support us, rather, we have a right to ask of the world because we are part
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of them and because if what happens in iraq is not dealt with, it will expand. and what happens in syria, if not dealt with, will also expand. it will happen in any country where the virus of terrorism is, the virus will spread. >> the u.s. and iraqi government fischel said about 75 hellfire air to ground missiles have been sent to iraq. in addition of eagles can missiles -- scaneagles missiles. >> this is one of the most puzzling geopolitical realities. the u.s. has been funding and training and supporting the same government that has been funded and trained by iran. unlike other parts of the middle east where iran and the united of a proxy somewhat
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war, like lebanon, for example, which the u.s. funds and supports opponents of those parties funded by iran. in iraq, both governments, the united states and the iranian government, have been supporting the same leaders in iraq. i think the most recent shipment of weapons reaffirms this strategic alliance between the u.s. and iran inside iraq, betting on the same courses. i think in addition to the most recent agreement between the u.s. and the syrian government and the u.s. and the iranian government, are sending an alarming message to the region that the u.s. will continue to take sides within domestic conflict. and in iraq, seems u.s. will continue to support the iraqi government as it has been accused for years of being
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behind torture and assassination and the killing of its own people. >> what do you make of the issue of the neighboring civil war in syria and its impact on the escalating violence in iraq? >> i mean, the situation in syria is so close to iraq that i don't think the word "neighboring" explains it anymore. it is all the same conflict now. this is turning into one huge regional conflict. as your other guest indicated, the events in syria are affecting the bordering areas in iraq. because of many of the new political realities in the region, unfortunately, many iraqis and syrians and others are identifying more with the
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than the background national background. so you find many iraqi-sunnis who will identify more now with a syrian-sunni them with an iraqi-shia. in reality, this is the new map being drawn in the region. so what is going on in syria has direct implications on the situation in iraq. iraq is heavily involved in the syrian conflict. the iraqi government, through the iranian government, has been supporting the syrian government against the uprising. of course, the majority of iraq he-sunnis are not happy about iraqiaq he government -- government. this is turning into one large sectarian regional conflict that spreads all the way from iran to lebanon. beirute explosion in
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falls within this new fault line. >> last week democracy now! spoke to patrick cockburn from "the independent of britain." he talked about saudi arabia's role in the various conflicts in the middle east. >> saudi arabia has through distribution of arms contracts, through its money, sort of may to sell of the international establishment in which normally foreign leaders visiting saudi arabia don't bring up these delicate topics. and put very little treasure on the saudis to do anything about it. it enables the saudis to really go on supporting jihadi organizations at the state or private level in the same way they were doing in afghanistan, post-afghanistan when they supported the taliban, before
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9/11, after 9/11, during iraq, after iraq. >> what about that, will dunlop, in baghdad, the role of saudi arabia? i would also like raed jarrar's comment. >> neighboring countries definitely have an impact on what is going on with iraq. it is sometimes hard to pinpoint who is providing direct financing to any specific groups, however. >> raed jarrar, the role of saudi arabia? >> it is more complicated than conventional wisdom in the u.s. i think especially after the arabia egypt, saudi funded a coup d'état, against what seems to be a sunni .eligious regime in egypt i mean, conventional wisdom would have concluded that saudi arabia would support the muslim brotherhood rather than conspire
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to bring them down. so the saudi role in the region is prominent. it is a major player, but they have so many other geopolitical calculations, including keeping them as the main leader of sunnis, as the main authority of sunnis. sometimes it ends up being more of a competition between them in other sunni-arab groups the region. the saudi role in iraq has not been as prominent as the iranian war american role in iraq. not even close to that. so they haven't been really supporting the iraqi major sunni groups or funding them the same way iran has been funding their allies or the u.s. funding its allies. it is a little more exaggerated than iraq, but of course, it is one of the main regional players. >> raed, what are the prospects
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for some kind of relative peace in iraq right now? tot would have to happen sharply diminish the escalating violence that is occurring now? >> that is the one million- dollar question. i think a few years ago and many people, including myself, advocated for a swift end of the was military intervention and occupation. many people pushed the longer the u.s. military intervention continues in iraq, the more tragic the consequences would be. unfortunately, by the time the u.s. left in 2011, after more than 20 years of military intervention -- this is a military intervention that started in january 1991 and did not end until december 2011 -- the country has been destroyed completely. the effects of u.s. military intervention can be still felt
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until today. so i think we need a very dramatic change of the foundation of the governance in iraq to stop violence. actually, the government and the entire region in dealing with a wave of sectarian politics that might redraw a new map of the region, a map that is not based on [indiscernible] state lines that were drawn in 1916 and 1920, at a map that is based on sectarian and religious affiliation. so this is way larger. this is huge forces that take decades to change. people's national identities, people's political belonging, you know, massive movements of transfer of migrations of people. it is unfortunate there's no silver bullet to end violence
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and it seems that coming years would be even more violent than what we have seen. >> i wanted to ask you about this top story that is happening in lebanon, raed jarrar. you alluded to it before, the victim's top target in lebanon, the hominid shatah seems to have been killed along with -- mohammed shatah seems to have been killed. he was a vocal critic of bashar al-assad. talk about the significance. >> is a very symbolic attack. the assassination happened a few yards away from the the father a of few years ago. the same location of beirut. the assassination of the former wasster shatah who
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assassinated this morning, is more symbolic because he is the least protected member of that team. he doesn't have the same type of security because he is a former member of the government. it was easier for whoever does for whomever to kill him there. i think this scene overall is another escalation -- and many people are reading it as a political message, following the attack on the iranian embassy in beirut -- these car bombs are turning into political messagings. one bomb attacks in embassy a couple of weeks after that one bomb kills a former minister, so it is really ugly. many people are comparing what is going on now to the lebanese civil war, with clinical wherees starting to be --
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political messages are being sent through car bombs rather than tv channels. and will dunlop, thank you for joining us. please, be safe. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. back, the bonuses that are going to bankers in the united states. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. thursday was another record- setting day on wall street. the dow jones industrial average and the s&p 500 both hit new highs while the nasdaq surged to its highest level in over 13 years. the year-end rally is expected
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to add a boost to the massive bonuses wall street is preparing to hand out this year. the biggest wall street firms have reportedly set aside over $91 billion for year end bonuses. >> meanwhile, spinoff of occupy wall street call the other 98% has launched a petition calling on employees of chase, citigroup, wells fargo, goldman sachs, morgan stanley and bank of america to donate their bonuses to the 10 million americans made homeless by the housing crisis. we're joined i alexis goldstein and washington, d.c. for seven years she worked on wall street as a computer programmer and morgan stanley, merrill lynch, deutsche bank. she later got involved with occupy wall street and is not the medications director at the other 98%. welcome back. talk about your recommendations for what these bankers should do for their bonuses. a guest on the she said 10 million people were
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displaced during the foreclosure crisis, often due to predatory loans, mortgages that were sold that had rates that were bait and switch rates. our suggestion is simply that they should take this money and do something about the lack of affordable housing, which we think is a problem they caused because they've essentially thrown so many people wrongfully out of their homes. we had a proposal to take $60 billion unfunded something called the national housing trust fund for two years. this program was created by george bush in 2008. it is funded at already billion dollars for 10 years could and homeless -- funded at $30 billion for 10 years could end homelessness. we are saying wall street to take $60 billion at a bonuses and help get this ball rolling and fund the program for two years. her neck suggestion was essentially to take care of the $21 billion in either group pairs of public housing.
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what ends up happening is about 10,000 units of public housing fallout of the inventory every year so we have less and less affordable housing. that is our second suggestion. i suppose they could take the $10 billion remaining and all the rest out. those were our two suggestions. >> alexis, how is it possible to wall street firms have been able to accumulate so much in bonuses even the fact the recovery here in the united states is still so sluggish, still over 7% unemployed and reports last few days that christmas shopping among americans was hardly what the financial community expected? >> it is a great question. i think there are two answers. one is bloomberg earlier this year did a study that said there is an $83 billion a year subsidy coming from the government and flowing into wall street, and that comes from the cheap cost of borrowing they get directly
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from the federal reserve and from the fact that people that loan wall street money assume the government would bail them out again if they ever got into trouble, so they loan the money at a lower rate than they would to a bank they don't see as too big to fail. $83 billion of government subsidies each year, i guess a big chunk of that they're putting right back into their pockets and giving out in bonuses. i think another reason they're doing so well, they continued to commit crimes that are very profitable. there was a huge settlement this year with jpmorgan that was a $13 billion settlement the result of mortgages they sold during a crisis that were very shady and misrepresented. investors lost 26 billion dollars on that, so $13 billion sounds like a lot, but it is just a fraction of the money people loss. many have things like j.p. morgan manipulating electricity markets and charging consumers in california more money than they should be. they're manipulating the market. we saw credit card fraud, j.p. morgan fined for that to the tune of $300 million.
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i think the second answer to the question is, they're still doing criminal things that happened to be highly profitable. ft magazinesbout how to spend it. >> there's a magazine that comes out 30 times a year and the financial times is a hard copy and also has its own website, howtospenditicon. thing. is a real they profile $20,000 watches, gadgets you can buy like a $50,000 diamond encrusted iphone case, all sorts of fancy and expensive cars. this is a real magazine that exist. >> can you talk about the bonuses being considered? rememberimportant to
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these employees on wall street get a base salary. the base salary they get is usually the range of about $150,000 and goes up from there, especially if you are a higher level employee. 100% of theoften base salary, but all the way up to the millions of dollars for very profitable traders. these are people that are making a salary that is far above what the average american makes already, then, depending on , ite they are in the bank depends on where they fit in, but the key point to remember is, these are not people living hard on their salary. their salaries themselves are generous in the bonuses just the icing on the cake at the end of the year. >> i want to ask you about one of the chief reforms that came out of the financial crisis and the so-called full parole the president obama touted thattedly -- volcker rule
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president obama touted repeatedly, five years now after the crisis or six years. le, how ise volcker ru it being up a minute, and what are the financial firms doing to already try to challenge it or rein in its worst aspects as far as they're concerned? >> it came out of the financial crisis and it was part of a law called dodd-frank, which try to tackle all of the various problems that led to the financial crisis. volcker rule says banks that enjoy fdic insurance don't get to gamble anymore. if they want to do trades, they have to do so on behalf of their clients and they don't get just a buy something because they think it will skyrocket in price in the future. the logic behind it was, a lot of these angst, citigroup one of them, merrill lynch another, bought up a lot of these mortgage-backed securities and other mortgage-derivative
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products and essentially sought on to -- held onto them because they thought they would go up. they ended up losing a ton of money. they sold a lot of them that up beinghey ended fraudulent. the basic idea is, look, if you're going to have taxpayer backing at the end of the day, sdi insurance, you should not get to gamble, and that is what rule is about. lobby it. try to one of the exceptions is, you cannot own a hedge fund if you're wall street bank or private equity fund because you could just gamble through that hedge fund, so they put a three percent cap on the amount of a hedge fund or amount of a private equity fund you could own. but there are different ways around that. there are certain things that don't count toward that 3% cap. one of those happens to be a fight that we have been having
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for a while about taxation. if you remember in the presidential campaign, mitt romney -- it was revealed he pays a low rate and taxes. that has to do with private equity and the way private equity managers are paid. they're paid basically through something called carried interest. carried interest is essentially a sharing of the profits that the private equity fund makes. the argument that people like mitt romney make for why that carried interest should be passed -- taxed at a lower rate, they say it is ownership in the fund. rule, carriedcker interest is not considered ownership so it doesn't count for that 3% cap i mentioned. that is just one example of the exemption i hear could be exploited by the banks. i do think there is a silver lining. if we can get five financial regulators from and that is how many worked on this rule, to agree, which they have agreed, that carried interest isn't
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ownership, that it seems to me, congress has no excuse to change the way it is taxed. it should be taxed at the same way a salary and wages are taxed. i suppose there is a small silver lining in that exemption. >> when people ask where is occupy today, one of the places it is is right here around this issue. occupy wall street sent a 325 page comment on the volcker rule, the document cited 284 times in the actual rule. talk about that document that you are key in helping to write, alexis. >> there were about seven of us that worked on that. i was one of the seven. we really tried to identify every single place that we could find were wall street would exploit a loophole or run around the rule. we made a series of the commendations, number of recommended changes in the language of the law, and for the most part, i think most of our recommendations were taken verbatim, but essentially what
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happened is the banks would argue for something that was super deregulatory, the group i was a part of, we would argue for strengthening of the role, and the regulators essentially for the most part show something in the middle and made both sides unhappy. but i see it as a victory because the needle did not move toward the wall street, which is what normally happens. normally, we just seawater and down. there were a couple of cases where they did take on the recommendations that were made. this was a real victory for the public having a voice in the process and these laws and regulations that are normally completely dominated by wall street interest and essentially they get to write their own rules. we were able to move the needle a little in the right direction in this case because of that letter. >> i want to ask you about another issue that i'm sure is going to come up in congress in 2014, which is the issue of the huge amounts of profits that
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u.s. corporations are holding overseas because they don't want to repatriate and have to pay full tax by bringing them back into the country. there are all -- there is all kinds of talk, even in the obama administration, but some form of a tax amnesty. i'm wondering what your senses that will happen with this issue in 2014? >> unfortunately, the odds are not in our favor. i think there's a very strong push to continue to allow these loopholes to exist will stop i am somewhat optimistic because we do see talk from the obama administration about addressing income inequality. it seems to me if you're going to truly address that in addition to raising the minimum wage, you need to close some of these tax loopholes. it doesn't to me to be the logical extension of what the president has called the most important issue of our time. however, it is one thing to say that in a speech and another thing to make policy changes to the tax code.
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i am encouraged we could see policy changes to tighten these loopholes that allow them to ship things overseas, but it is always an uphill struggle because you tighten one loophole, and they lobby to open another one. i suppose i would say i am cautiously optimistic we will see some changes, but i will be watching it closely and certainly remain skeptical. but i want to ask you about a satirical video the other 90 eight percent posted around the oil giant exxon. let's go to a club. >> >> your exxon we hate your children. we all know climate prices will rip their world apart, but we don't care because it is making us rich. that's right, every are congress gets the fossil fuel industry over $10 billion in subsidies. is your tax dollars hunting are of rockets, destroying your kids future. at exxon, that is what we call good business. syourchildren.com.
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>> this was our way of bringing to light the very real fact that exxon mobil is a huge could twitter to climate change. to climatetributor change. we blew past 350 parts per million of carbon, at 450 parts per million of carbon. some people believe the estimate for oil companies is as high as $52 billion. this is a company that owned only receives a huge amount of government assistance, they continue to operate as if they are a good corporate act or. i think if you took into all of the externalities, and him by that i mean, change and natural disasters we have seen, increase in temperatures, extreme weather, this is a corporation that cares more about profits than they do about all of us living here on this planet. we were trying to poke fun of that. they filed a cease and desist letter with comcast and we could not air this as we wanted to write before the president's
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state of the union -- wanted to right before the present state of the union address. it is tongue-in-cheek, but it is also quite serious. i think they do hate us and our children. they certainly liked their money more than they like our children. >> president obama called for an tax subsidies, but where has it gone? >> that is a good question. it is important we continue to shame the corporate caucus and keep the pressure on ankle for true and to be subsidies, and not just talk about it. >> alexis goldstein, thank you for joining us, worked for seven years on wall street and now director at the other 98%. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the philippines are still reeling from typhoon haiyan, and yet they are paying a fortune in back that for the former
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dictator ferdinand marcos. how is this possible? one group is calling for forgiving the debt. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> we turn now to the philippines for the holidays were observed with a mixture of gratitude and somber in this as the country continues to recover from typhoon haiyan, which
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reduced honest everything in its path to rubble two months ago. strongest-to ever hit land, affected more than 14 million people in 44 provinces in the central philippines, killing at least 6000 people, displacing more than 4 million residents, and damaging about one million houses and leaving nearly 1800 people missing. on saturday, the united nations secretary-general visited tacloban, the epicenter of the typhoon, and urged international community to scale up support for philippines recovery and reconstruction efforts. moved and also inspired by my visit. people are working hard to recover. we must not let this be a forgotten crisis. i urge to add to the already generous response so we can help
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communities to be safer. >> this week, the u.n. announced an appeal for $800 million in international humanitarian relief. so far, only 30% of the target has been met. i miss the ongoing crisis, some may be shocked to learn that country's debt repayments far out shadow -- overshadow all the typhoon haiyan released today. on christmas eve, the philippines reached a grim milestone -- $1 billion in debt payments since the typhoon hit. some of those debts are from the corrupt and abusive regime of dictator ferdinand marcos, which enjoyed early backing of the reagan administration. in the 1980s, the white house described marcos as "an old friend and longtime ally." ringer 20 or some power, the marcus is embezzled $5 billion to $10 billion from their people. it said that the filipinos continue to carry today. for more we go to washington, d.c., where we are joined by eric lecompte, the executive
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director of jubilee usa network. welcome to democracy now! talk about this debt and what this means given how hard hit the philippines is from the typhoon. >> as you explain, the devastation is absolutely horrific on the ground. 6000 people have died. there is an economic losses of over $15 billion. as 10 to 12eality typhoon continue to hit the country every year, they're unprepared for climate change and future catastrophic typhoons, which are expected to arrive and hit sure over the next 10 years. so we are looking at the amount of aid so far and it has been absolutely incredible how countries around the world have delivered about $350 million in aid, $51 million from the u.s. government alone. but it is completely orphaned by the debt payments that are
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continued to be made by the country of the philippines. they are paying down over $60 billion in debt. this year alone they will pay the $6.7 billion since typhoon hit, over $1 billion. iswe see the amount of debt unsustainable. over 20% of the income of the philippines goes toward paying down the debt. what makes this whole situation even worse is the roots of this debt are from the corrupt regime of ferdinand marcos. dictatorship in the philippines, more than 3000 people were killed, 35,000 people were tortured. old when finally the nonviolent revolution unseated the dictatorship of ferdinand marcos. i will never forget seeing the television images of and all the
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collection of over 3000 designer pairs of shoes while the country was in poverty, people were being tortured. this couple was embezzling between $5 billion to $10 billion. we have to understand in the current context of what is happening in the philippines, there is no way the country can get back on its feet without dealing with this unsustainable debt to with its roots in the corrupt marcos regime. >> you mention the marcos regime. i want to turn to an interview outages are responded to scores on a date with a mother marcos. he was rich. he was rich when he and i got married. heore he became president, was number four. you can see that in an interview in "the reader's digest. that $10n't it true
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billion of the philippine treasury money went missing question mark >> it's not true. it's not true. in jailhould have been already. i will show you the document. >> where is the money? >> [indiscernible] >> that was imelda marcos being interviewed by al jazeera. want to ask you, the marcos' were overthrown a decade ago and how is it possible they're still paying that debt by the philippine government? what a big artist interest rates. what we know is that the government, the dictatorship took out more than 25 billion dollars in loans that we know about, that we are aware of. the principle of many of those loans have been paid. what is remarkable is the interest rates have grown to haveamounts that the loans
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continued to grow. i think one of the problems that we are seeing -- and this is not a problem that is just endemic to the philippines, but the reality is, of the $60 billion of debt, we don't know completely who it is owed to, what the $60 billion paid for, what benefits are from that money, and whether or not the government to the philippines, even recently, has sought approval of its people in order to transact and to be able to take loans. >> where was the embezzled money? why can it be found -- why can't it be found? >> there's a report that says there estimates range between $5 billion and $10 billion -- i'm sure for many of the listeners of democracy now!, there's quite a difference between $5 billion
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and $10 billion. it is astounding these are just projections. these are just estimates. touch of this money was hidden by the marcos regime -- much of this money was hidden by the marcos regime. as they fled the philippines, took a lot of that money with them. oure also dealing with how financial system supports corruption through the use of tax havens, secret bank accounts . many corrupt officials continue to be able to hide money around the world. these are some of the problems -- it is much bigger than just the philippines. when we are counting debt in the trillions of dollars around the world that the financial crisis was caused by high indebtedness, by speculation, and the international financial system still is not providing rules to deal with these problems. when we go back to the
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philippines, there still aren't rules in place in the philippines like in many countries around the world, where a country's leader is to seek approval from even their parliament or their congress in order to take out loans and spend that money. >> can you just talk about what you are calling for? >> specifically, in terms of the philippines, we join our partners at jubilee pacific and the debt coalition on the ground in the philippines, and we are asking for the president of the world bank immediately have a moratorium on debt payments. the world bank as well as the asian development bank hold the majority of loans in the philippines right now. we want a moratorium on the debt . the second part, which is critical, there needs to be public independent audit. we need to know what the money was spent on, where it went, how the money was approved and where the money is now. and who the money is loaned -- owed to. these are critical things in
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regard to the philippines. more broadly, for us at jubilee usa and our international partners, we want to see debt audits take place around the world, the implementation of an international bankruptcy process to work out these unsustainable debts, and we want to see asic regulations for responsible lending and borrowing implemented in the international financial system. >> you said the world bank has most of the debt, but you know any of the major u.s. banks that have a portion of the philippine debt? >> about fighting percent of the debt right now is either held by -- about 5% ofnt the debt right now is either held by the u.s. government or the regime. going back to the marcos regime, we don't know the breakdown and that is why the audit is so important. >> eric lecompte, thank you for joining us. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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